La Marche | Nabil Ben Yadir, 2013
France/Belgium | Arabic and French with English subtitles | Format: Digital projection | 120 minutes
North American Premiere! Director Nabil Ben Yadir in person on March 9!
Nabil Ben Yadir’s rousing sophomore feature reconstructs a decisive event in the history of French racial politics: a Mitterrand-era demonstration against racism and inequality in which nine people marched 930 miles from Marseilles to Paris, where they were met by more than 100,000 supporters. Compelled to undertake their transnational trek when Mohamed (Tewfik Jallab) and Hassan (Jamel Debbouze) are victimized by the police, the band of protesters—inspired by Martin Luther King, Jr. and Gandhi—have their resolve tested, but are obliged to soldier on when a Maghrebi teenager is brutally murdered, encountering ever more prejudice en route. The Marchers is a monument to the courage of a handful of activists as well as an edifying account of how a small group can bring about enormous shifts in the national consciousness.
Following the March 9 screening, Nabil Ben Yadir and filmmaker/producer Electra Weston will participate in a discussion on telling history through film and the depiction of minority groups in France and the USA.